Not long ago television celebrated its 75th anniversary. There have been plenty of innovations and inventions in the space of television since the first program was broadcasted from Berlin in 1935. With no doubt,television has become the most widely spread media world wide. However, the basic television paradigms, the principle of “broad casting” and the principle of channels and time slots have not changed at all. No surprise, that in times of the Internet with its sheer amount of instantly available information people increasingly have difficulties to accept these outdated paradigms. Especially younger viewers are switching away from TV to the Internet, thus creating a new set of significant issues for the broadcasting and advertising industry. To cope with the situation, most of the broadcasters have started special interest TV channels to target specific audiences leading to an increasing market fragmentation and hence lower advertising revenues at significant additional costs. Recently implemented and mostly lukewarm Internet outlets of broadcast content have not proven yet to cure the issue and are likely to even speed-up the process of viewer migration and resulting revenue decrease. Now, what next?
I think it's brought the world a lot closer together, and will continue to do that. There are downsides to everything; there are unintended consequences to everything. The most corrosive piece of technology that I've ever seen is called television - but then, again, television, at its best, is magnificent. -- Steve Jobs
To break this vicious cycle, viewer requirements need to be put back to center stage. When adopting their Internet usage behavior, most viewers would expect their individual content being presented to them at their preferred viewing time, giving them full time and content autonomy. Catch-up-TV and other time-shift IPTV technologies may solve the issue of time autonomy but still do not address the content autonomy as it only offers content which has been broadcasted before. VoD (video on demand) services with thousands of titles in the libraries would address both, time and content autonomy. However, searching a library of tens of thousands of videos to find exactly what fits the mood of the moment can be a pretty tedious task and most likely viewers will get lost. To sustainably overcome the limitations of current systems and to keep the viewers in front of their TV-sets, it seems a bigger leap is required.
In response to these challenges vfree.tv has developed a technology and services to automatically provide fully individual content to the individual viewer at any given point in time. The approach is based on the understanding that viewing habits are as individual as the users and that there is plenty of content which is available to fit these individual needs. The challenge is just to get the right content for the right moment to the right viewer. Sounds simple? Believe us – it's not.